Both faculty members and a team of college counselors assist C/A students with different aspects of the college admission process: making choices about schools, completing college applications, writing essays, preparing fine or graphic art portfolios when applicable, and meeting other special entrance requirements.
In the spring of their sophomore year, students and their parents are introduced to Naviance, a premier web-based application for college search information. Students use Naviance to investigate, track, research, and plan for the college admissions process while recording grades, activities, and college or career interests. The counseling offices works with students and parents as they explore college choices and complete applications during their junior and senior years. If students require a school that provides specific support or assistive technology, we help them identify ones that might be the best match. Our College Handbook serves as a roadmap through the entire college admission process.
Meeting deadlines is critical during the college admission process. Along with Naviance, our College Handbook provides a sheet to keep track of items needed for each school and the date it is due, and we follow up with each senior to make sure they are on top of their lists. Requests for C/A to send out specific information to colleges is due to college services three weeks before it is due to the college or university, ensuring that we can submit all documentation in a timely manner.
Essays are reviewed by the college counseling office, English or Writing teachers, or the Director of Academic & Student Programs to ensure that students are responding to the “prompt” from the college or university and are putting their best work forward. College counselors discuss essay topics with each student and help them choose a topic that can be used for several applications to reduce the number of essays needed. They also help students focus on their strengths and discuss how to frame or put in context any weaknesses in their profiles. Students are encouraged to write their essays during their junior summer to alleviate pressure during the fall of their senior year.
C/A helps families investigate both financial-based and merit scholarships. We sponsor a workshop on completing the FASFA, which is required to qualify for scholarships and financial aid at post-secondary schools. We advise parents about available scholarships that students may qualify for and provide letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other supporting documents that are requested to complete a scholarship application.